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Foreign Ministry

  • Israel has an incitement problem

    Israeli politicians and pundits make sure to talk about Palestinian incitement at every opportunity. Rarely do we ever hear about Israeli incitement that denies both Palestinian history and present reality. By Yoni Mendel In Israeli public discourse, the phrase "Palestinian incitement" makes an appearance time and again. One can hear it in the news by members of both the coalition and the opposition, it is seen as an immutable fact by pundits, and it is highly prioritized by analysts at various think tanks. Suffice it to say that much of this incitement focuses on delegitimizing Israel and rejecting its existence. [tmwinpost]…

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  • The making of a hasbara superstar, Israel's new ambassador to the UK

    For the past decade Mark Regev has become Israel's preeminent government mouthpiece. Now, as the world prepares to mark 50 years of occupation, Netanyahu appoints a hasbara heavyweight to represent him in the UK. By Yoni Mendel I’m not sure Mark Regev is a name Israelis are too familiar with. But around the world he seems to be one of the people most closely identified with this country, and certainly with its recent governments. A Google News search for “Mark Regev” produces only 180 results in Hebrew, but roughly 12,000 in English. Pretty bizarre for a man who worked so closely…

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  • Why I had to leave Israel's Foreign Ministry

    As a former Israeli ambassador, I never expected just how badly the country's situation would deteriorate. By Ilan Baruch It has been five years since I breathed a sigh of relief and left Israel's Foreign Ministry building. No more would I represent the Netanyahu government's hasbara as a diplomat and attorney. In my farewell letter to the Ministry I wrote: "The government leaders have endorsed policies that outrage me… I have a hard time explaining them honestly." I did not expect that after five years, over the course of which we faced two wars and two elections, Israel's situation would…

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  • There is no 'day after' Netanyahu

    Short of allowing Palestinians to establish an independent state, there is nothing Netanyahu won't do to ensure his political survival. Liberal Israeli columnist and Channel 10's top political commentator Raviv Drucker published a piece in Haaretz Sunday, in which he waxes optimistic about the "day after Netanyahu" and who could possibly take over and bring the Israeli Right back to its proper, "sane" place. [tmwinpost] Drucker, of course, knows that barring some unforeseen circumstances, the "day after Netanyahu" is far, far away. Far enough for him to propose Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon as Netanyahu's possible successor. While Drucker hasn't forgiven…

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  • Hasbara group wants you to infiltrate human rights NGOs

    A private, low-profile 'public diplomacy' outfit is setting out to train 'Secret Hasbara Agents.' But don't worry, it's not propaganda. A private Israeli hasbara – or “public diplomacy” – organization on Wednesday put out one of the weirdest responses yet to the incitement campaign by far-right group Im Tirzu of two weeks ago. [tmwinpost] The original Im Tirzu campaign described Israeli human rights advocates as "planted" agents serving foreign agendas because the organizations they work for receive funds from European governments. The response ad published on Wednesday called for — presumably right-wing — Israelis to be “planted” inside the “plants,” a…

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  • Israel is egging the boycott movement on

    In attempting to hold off European plans to label West Bank settlement products, Israel could easily overplay its hand. The Netanyahu government's bunker mentality will only increase international isolation. It’s pretty difficult to find a minister in the Israeli government who will go on record supporting a two-state solution in any sincere terms these days. Of course we want a Palestinian state, they say, but god forbid we hand over control of the West Bank and withdraw our troops. [tmwinpost] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has been saying as much for years. “I think the Israeli people understand now what I…

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  • Occupation is the problem, not the people talking about it

    Israel's Foreign Ministry is going after Israeli human rights and anti-occupation activists overseas. Doing so will only make things worse for Israel. By Ilan Baruch It's been less than a month since Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely instructed Israeli embassies abroad to explain to the nations of the world that the land of Israel is ours in its entirety. Global hostility toward Israel, she insisted, does not stem from the occupation or settlements. [tmwinpost] Now, we have learned that she instructed the Israeli embassy in Switzerland to attempt to cancel a “Breaking the Silence” exhibition in Zurich. The exhibition presents…

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  • 'I Am a Refugee': Israel's splashy new victimhood campaign

    Message: The Palestinian refugees have nothing on the 'Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries.' As if Israel hasn't been playing the victim long enough, as if it hasn't exploited the Six Million to the absolute limit, now comes a new weapon: the "Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries." This has long been an Israeli answer to the Palestinian refugees - that roughly as many Middle Eastern Jews as Palestinians lost their homes because of the 1948 war. This week, though, the government made the issue a major new front in its information war. Fittingly, the head of the "I Am a Refugee"…

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  • 'Pro-Palestinian activists have sexual identity problems'

    Israel's deputy ambassador to Ireland, Nurit Tinari Modai, recently sent a letter to the Foreign Ministry, with some unusual suggestions for how Israel should fight its own citizens who dare show solidarity with Palestinians. The letter was revealed by Channel 10 news this evening. We can find names of [those] Israelis… we should hit their soft spot, publish their pictures, maybe it will embarrass their friends and relatives at home, and hopefully the local [Palestinian] activists will think that they work for the Mossad... The acts of these activists are, I think, not ideologically motivated, but rather have to do…

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  • If gov't had its way, Israel would rightfully be on UN list of human rights abusers

    By Hagai El-Ad There is no factual basis for listing Israel alongside countries like Zimbabwe or Venezuela, but that is not thanks to the government's efforts – which have fully pushed legislation against human rights NGOs; if the government actually had its way, then the recent condemnation of Israel by UN High Commissioner Navi Pillay would have been quite accurate. The Foreign Ministry was quick to characterize as "absurd" the recent statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, who grouped Israel together with the likes of Belarus, Zimbabwe, Venezuela and other countries in the dubious club of…

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  • Israeli universities becoming Hasbara mills

    Two universities, Tel Aviv and Haifa, now offer programs in Hasbara. Both feature Neal Lazarus, the man behind the fake "gay flotilla" video. Two Israeli universities, Haifa University and Tel Aviv University, now offer programs in Hasbara. The Haifa course is meant for Israeli students, the Tel Aviv one for foreign students. Both are supported by Israeli ministries: the Haifa one by the Ministry of Propaganda and Diaspora (Ministry of Hasbara, in Hebrew) and the Tel Aviv program by the Foreign Ministry. The Haifa program is public and can be viewed here (Hebrew.) It has also been covered by the Canadian…

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  • Deputy Israeli FM "Addressed Arab Leaders" - REALLY?

    The following press release was distributed by the Israeli Government Press Office on Tuesday evening to all foreign press working in Israel: Press Release (Communicated by the Bureau of Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon) Deputy FM Ayalon Addresses Arab leaders at WATEC Conference: "Many times in the history of our region, water was a reason for conflict and bloodshed. Today, I want to change this equation, together with you to turn water into a bridge to peace.” Today, 15 November 2011, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon opened WATEC 2011, the international conference on water technologies, renewable energy and environmental control. More…

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